Double delight as SA’s Anrune Weyers, Ntando Mahlangu strike gold at Paralympics
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CAPE TOWN - After a couple of mishaps in the opening week of the Tokyo Paralympics, Team South Africa finally got on to the medal scoreboard on Saturday with a double gold on the athletics track.
First up was world star Anrune Weyers in the final of the women's 400m T47 category.
She had cruised into the final on Friday in a time of 57.59 seconds, and had expressed her relief at just being able to compete at the event after recovering from Covid-19 just a month ago.
And the 2019 world champion proved her class in the final on Saturday, claiming gold in a time of 56.05 seconds - improving on the silver medal she earned in the same race at Rio 2016.
The 28-year-old Weyers had secured a silver and bronze respectively in the 400m and 200m T46 events at London 2012.
Then it was time for Mahlangu to shine in the men's T63 long jump final.
The 19-year-old was on fire from round one, producing a superb leap of 7.02m that placed him in second position, which was also a world record in the T61 category.
He was unable to go beyond the seven-metre mark in the rest of the competition, until the final jump...
Mahlangu grabbed the gold medal in stunning fashion, leaping to another T61 world-record distance of 7.17m to beat German Leon Schafer into second place with 7.12m.
This was Mahlangu's second Paralympics medal after he won a silver medal in the 200m T42 event at Rio 2016.
Another South African, Puseletso Mabote, finished ninth with 5.18m.
In wheelchair tennis, Wimbledon finalist Kgothatso Montjane advanced to the women's singles second round by beating Saki Takamuro of Japan 6-2 6-1.